I was the member of a transcriptionists forum on the web. I had originally signed up back in august using one username and an email address who's id was a book character I liked. I had signed up on site A and site B with this ID. After a while, when I saw that the people on there seemed okay, I started a new ID with my initials and last name as the user ID. I didn't know how to delete the other so I just stopped using it on Site B. However, since I didn't use Site A much anymore, I never bothered to change it.
My computer has one of those things where it remembers logins and stuff and I had made a trip to Site A just to see what was going on as I hadn't been there in a while. Well, when I went back to site B, it auto logged me on as the old user ID (I used the same ID and password on both sites as it's easier for me to remember).
On site B there is a Debate folder. I made the following comments, not realizing that I was under the old user name until too late and there was no way to delete or change the userid on the thread.
Thread one mentioned that I had received an email that there was a movie coming out that was based on books that were anti-Christian and that I would not be allowing my family to see it. Thread two just asked if there was anyone who ever received any strange questions about their religion. (I get them all the time.) And I was just curious to see if it was just mine or if anyone else got funny stuff. After I had realized that I was signed in to my old user ID, I immediately logged off and went back in under my correct one and didn't think anything of it.
On thread one the second person to post said that they didn't know about it but thanks for the heads up. Then one other member got on it and started making things get nasty. It went downhill from there. I made a couple of more posts, but just didn't respond to any negative comments. My only concession that I even acknowledged the negative comment one person wrote was to say that I just knew the book discussion was going to be good. That's it. Nothing personal.
On the second thread, the religion question thread, it started off jsut fine. A few people posted some really funny things that they'd been asked and then all was OK. Then one person, and I'm not sure if it was the same one or not but I think it was and she's one of the moderators, started attacking people verbally and it went downhill too. The whole bad part of the discussions were between others. I stayed out of their disagreement.
Now, the other thing that happened, and this was just really bad timing, was that I had taken some overflow transcription work from another one of the moderators. There is an overflow folder and it states that you take/give overflow at your own risk and I took some from Moderator X.
The first three files she sent were to be paid at $45 per audio hour unless they were really done well.. However, when I sent them back she upped it to $50 because of the quality. Then, I had a death in the family and couldn't work for a day or so. After all the arrangements were made, I went back and requested work from her to keep my mind off things. However, I wasn't able to complete the files because of a family issue.This issue was, and is still very upsetting and embarrassing and I did not want to share it with someone I barely knew, so I just told her my electricity was off and I could not do the files.
She kept emailing and calling (she was in a tight with the work and really needed it done so I understand that) until I just went into my old email (the one with the book character's name) and wrote her an email saying I was a friend of mine and that I had spoken with me and didn't know when the lights would be back on. Cowardly, yes. And a bad decision to lie as all lies are. But, I really didn't want to disclose the family issues.
However, she emailed again and asked that someone pass the message to me to call her. She just wasn't giving up, so I signed onto the forum, under my current ID with my name and started a thread that said I was out of electricity and out of the house. I did not mean anyone any harm. I just wanted her to stop calling and emailing as it was adding to the stress of the family death and the other issue. Top that off with taking care of a 10 month old and a 13 year old and it was just overwhelming. I had NEVER not completed work before and I have been doing this for a while. I have three other very well know clients and none of them have had any negative comments about my work EVER.
Then things got even worse. The other people posting on the threads got so nasty that the site administrator had to check into it and lock the second thread. It was then she realized that I had posted under two user names. She asked me for an explanation and I told her the truth - exactly what I have posted here.
She discussed it with her moderators, one of which was the lady I was avoiding at the time, she then knew that I had sent her the email pretending to be my friend. (And yes, I was ashamed of doing that even before she found out.) She emailed me privately and told me she didn't appreciate being lied to. I responded and appologized immediately and stated that I had a family issue that I couldn't discuss and just did the first thing that came to mind in a panic. I also asked her to please keep this between us as I was very embarrased of my actions and she could be assured that I would never take overflow work again as this was such a bad experience. She did not respond back.
After that I didn't hear from anything again until I was notified that I was banned from the board when I tried to sign on again.
As I like talking to my fellow transcriptionists. Before I was banned, I started my own board, since I was sick of all the attacks and negative comments made on my threads, and asked one lady I talked with if she would like to be a moderator. I said nothing to her about anything that was going on and I didn't mention it to anyone else.
Now, I have been told by a reliable source, several in fact who sent me a copy of the post and warned that I should be expecting sabatoge on my forum, that, since banning me from the site, the administrator started a thread listing both of my sign-on names including the one that had my initials (the one I use for work) and she said that I had lied to "several" board members and was "spamming" members asking them to come to my site. She also said I had "flaked" on assignments and that the site I created was to cover up my lies. These are all direct quotes. And, please note, that no mention of their board or anything on it has ever been anywhere in my site. Then she, the mod who started the trouble on the threads, and many others have started posting negative comments about me on this thread calling me a "conartist" and saying that I was "dumb" enough to get caught. Most of these people were never involved in this in ANY way and just checked it out to see what was going on and just jumped on the bandwagon.
Mind you, I never tried to hide anything. I believe I even mentioned in one of the threads that I had started the thread. They have given me no chance to defend my self or even told my side of the story or even mentioned that I did apologize to the lady for not doing her work.
And now several of the adminstration of the site have been joining mine and the person who was causing all the trouble on the other threads I started has posted and asked if there was any way for her to get into my site without having to list her information and get caught.
Now, all this wouldn't bother me except for the fact that all the transcription employers look at these sites alot. Especially the ones I work for. And, they have made me out to be a horrible person who is just looking to make trouble, which I am not. My employer's know this as I have talked to them and they told me not to worry about it. But, this could seriously damage my ability to get other contracts in the future. I am thinking about suing the administrator of the site and all those involved in the post if they do not take the post and all mentions of my name off.
Do I have a leg to stand on here? Or is it just my tough luck. And when I say sue, I don't want money, just for them to take the any and all threads about me down, delete any negative comments about me, have their administrative mods to refrain from trying to come in and sabotage my site as I have not said, nor will I say, anything about theirs. Does anyone have any suggestions about my options or if this is a good libel case?
I have sent the lady I had done work for a Cease and Decist email stating all this as I do not have any contact info for the administrator and hers was the only email I had. I will note however, that this lady has not posted anything about me that I am aware of yet, so I would not include her in the suit if it goes that far. What should I do?